Get Advice Icon

Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

Ionic
Ionic

3.7K
3.2K
+ 1
1.7K
Xamarin
Xamarin

746
715
+ 1
705
Add tool

Ionic vs Xamarin: What are the differences?

Developers describe Ionic as "A beautiful front-end framework for developing cross-platform apps with web technologies like Angular and React". Free and open source, Ionic offers a library of mobile and desktop-optimized HTML, CSS and JS components for building highly interactive apps. Use with Angular, React, Vue, or plain JavaScript. On the other hand, Xamarin is detailed as "Create iOS, Android and Mac apps in C#". Xamarin鈥檚 Mono-based products enable .NET developers to use their existing code, libraries and tools (including Visual Studio*), as well as skills in .NET and the C# programming language, to create mobile applications for the industry鈥檚 most widely-used mobile devices, including Android-based smartphones and tablets, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

Ionic and Xamarin can be primarily classified as "Cross-Platform Mobile Development" tools.

Some of the features offered by Ionic are:

  • Performance obsessed
  • Utilizes Angular and React
  • Native focused

On the other hand, Xamarin provides the following key features:

  • Cross-platform development- Thinking about supporting iOS, Android, Mac and Windows? Xamarin allows you to write it all in C#.
  • Reuse existing code- Use your favorite .NET libraries in Xamarin apps. Easily use third-party native libraries and frameworks.
  • Discover as you type- Explore APIs as you type with code autocompletion.

"Allows for rapid prototyping", "Hybrid mobile" and "It's angularjs" are the key factors why developers consider Ionic; whereas "Power of c# on mobile devices", "Native apps with native ui controls" and "Native performance" are the primary reasons why Xamarin is favored.

Ionic is an open source tool with 38.4K GitHub stars and 13.1K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Ionic's open source repository on GitHub.

Sellsuki, Edify, and eTobb are some of the popular companies that use Ionic, whereas Xamarin is used by Rdio, Olo, and Rumble. Ionic has a broader approval, being mentioned in 392 company stacks & 350 developers stacks; compared to Xamarin, which is listed in 74 company stacks and 65 developer stacks.

- No public GitHub repository available -

What is Ionic?

Free and open source, Ionic offers a library of mobile and desktop-optimized HTML, CSS and JS components for building highly interactive apps. Use with Angular, React, Vue, or plain JavaScript.

What is Xamarin?

Xamarin鈥檚 Mono-based products enable .NET developers to use their existing code, libraries and tools (including Visual Studio*), as well as skills in .NET and the C# programming language, to create mobile applications for the industry鈥檚 most widely-used mobile devices, including Android-based smartphones and tablets, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
Get Advice Icon

Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

Why do developers choose Ionic?
Why do developers choose Xamarin?

Sign up to add, upvote and see more prosMake informed product decisions

Sign up to add, upvote and see more consMake informed product decisions

What companies use Ionic?
What companies use Xamarin?

Sign up to get full access to all the companiesMake informed product decisions

What tools integrate with Ionic?
What tools integrate with Xamarin?

Sign up to get full access to all the tool integrationsMake informed product decisions

What are some alternatives to Ionic and Xamarin?
PhoneGap
PhoneGap is a web platform that exposes native mobile device apis and data to JavaScript. PhoneGap is a distribution of Apache Cordova. PhoneGap allows you to use standard web technologies such as HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript for cross-platform development, avoiding each mobile platforms' native development language. Applications execute within wrappers targeted to each platform, and rely on standards-compliant API bindings to access each device's sensors, data, and network status.
NativeScript
NativeScript enables developers to build native apps for iOS, Android and Windows Universal while sharing the application code across the platforms. When building the application UI, developers use our libraries, which abstract the differences between the native platforms.
React Native
React Native enables you to build world-class application experiences on native platforms using a consistent developer experience based on JavaScript and React. The focus of React Native is on developer efficiency across all the platforms you care about - learn once, write anywhere. Facebook uses React Native in multiple production apps and will continue investing in React Native.
Flutter
Flutter is a mobile app SDK to help developers and designers build modern mobile apps for iOS and Android.
Apache Cordova
Apache Cordova is a set of device APIs that allow a mobile app developer to access native device function such as the camera or accelerometer from JavaScript. Combined with a UI framework such as jQuery Mobile or Dojo Mobile or Sencha Touch, this allows a smartphone app to be developed with just HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
See all alternatives
Decisions about Ionic and Xamarin
Greg Neumann
Greg Neumann
Indie, Solo, Developer | 6 upvotes 287.5K views
Xamarin
Xamarin
.NET Core
.NET Core
Xamarin Forms
Xamarin Forms
ASP.NET
ASP.NET
Quasar Framework
Quasar Framework
Electron
Electron
Vue.js
Vue.js
TypeScript
TypeScript

Finding the most effective dev stack for a solo developer. Over the past year, I've been looking at many tech stacks that would be 'best' for me, as a solo, indie, developer to deliver a desktop app (Windows & Mac) plus mobile - iOS mainly. Initially, Xamarin started to stand-out. Using .NET Core as the run-time, Xamarin as the native API provider and Xamarin Forms for the UI seemed to solve all issues. But, the cracks soon started to appear. Xamarin Forms is mobile only; the Windows incarnation is different. There is no Mac UI solution (you have to code it natively in Mac OS Storyboard. I was also worried how Xamarin Forms , if I was to use it, was going to cope, in future, with Apple's new SwiftUI and Google's new Fuchsia.

This plethora of techs for the UI-layer made me reach for the safer waters of using Web-techs for the UI. Lovely! Consistency everywhere (well, mostly). But that consistency evaporates when platform issues are addressed. There are so many web frameworks!

But, I made a simple decision. It's just me...I am clever, but there is no army of coders here. And I have big plans for a business app. How could just 1 developer go-on to deploy a decent app to Windows, iPhone, iPad & Mac OS? I remembered earlier days when I've used Microsoft's ASP.NET to scaffold - generate - loads of Code for a web-app that I needed for several charities that I worked with. What 'generators' exist that do a lot of the platform-specific rubbish, allow the necessary customisation of such platform integration and provide a decent UI?

I've placed my colours to the Quasar Framework mast. Oh dear, that means Electron desktop apps doesn't it? Well, Ive had enough of loads of Developers saying that "the menus won't look native" or "it uses too much RAM" and so on. I've been using non-native UI-wrapped apps for ages - the date picker in Outlook on iOS is way better than the native date-picker and I'd been using it for years without getting hot under the collar about it. Developers do get so hung-up on things that busy Users hardly notice; don't you think?. As to the RAM usage issue; that's a bit true. But Users only really notice when an app uses so much RAM that the machine starts to page-out. Electron contributes towards that horizon but does not cause it. My Users will be business-users after all. Somewhat decent machines.

Looking forward to all that lovely Vue.js around my TypeScript and all those really, really, b e a u t I f u l UI controls of Quasar Framework . Still not sure that 1 dev can deliver all that... but I'm up for trying...

See more
Interest over time
Reviews of Ionic and Xamarin
Review ofXamarinXamarin

I'm working in Huge company and I'm in charge to choose the cross-platform environment to develop Mobile application for all our services. I choose Xamarin but because the error i get everytime in Visual Studio, I want to leave it and recommand another solution. In fact that's why I'm here.

Weird, Install VS2017 with Xamarin on a new PC Create a new app GOT ERRORS.....!!!!!

Thank you for considering this

Review ofIonicIonic

great framework,lots of resources,great community,easy to create UI

How developers use Ionic and Xamarin
Avatar of Foundbite
Foundbite uses XamarinXamarin

Xamarin enables us to develop for 3 platforms (iOS, Android and Windows Phone) with one core codebase coded in C#. Xamarin has allowed us to release an app on all three platforms and develop them simultaneously - not bad for a team of 2!

Avatar of Pascal Malbranche
Pascal Malbranche uses IonicIonic

We use Ionic as it is an awesome framework to build mobile hybrid apps with nativ access. Also Ionic has a nice community!

Avatar of Ana Phi Sancho
Ana Phi Sancho uses XamarinXamarin

Self taught : acquired knowledge or skill on one's own initiative. Platform: OSX 10.8 or later. Mac computer user.

Avatar of Christian Bryant
Christian Bryant uses IonicIonic

Cross-Platform goodness. I am a noob here...learning how to implement Ionic is on the top of my ToDo's

Avatar of Robert Brown
Robert Brown uses XamarinXamarin

Build & ship OS X & iOS apps from Visual Studio on Windows. Requires paid team license.

Avatar of papaver
papaver uses IonicIonic

used on a recent project, an internal custom app developed for both ios and android.

Avatar of Grupo Gamma Peninsular, SA de CV
Grupo Gamma Peninsular, SA de CV uses IonicIonic

Desarrollo de aplicaciones multi-plataforma con HTML5, JavaScript y CSS3

Avatar of Daniel Kovacs
Daniel Kovacs uses XamarinXamarin

Mobile app development with PCL and Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Android.

Avatar of AmericanBibleSociety
AmericanBibleSociety uses IonicIonic

We have plans to employ this frontend framework in future apps.

Avatar of Olo
Olo uses XamarinXamarin

Cross platform, white labelled native mobile apps

How much does Ionic cost?
How much does Xamarin cost?
Pricing unavailable